Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow...
十八 洞山三斤 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 洞山和尚、因僧問、如何是佛。
A monk asked Tozan, "What is Buddha?" 山云、麻三斤。
Tõzan replied, "Masagin!" [three pounds of flax].
Mumon's Comment 無門曰、洞山老人、參得些蚌蛤禪、纔開兩片露出肝腸。
Old Tõzan attained the poor Zen of a clam. He opened the two halves of the shell a little and exposed all the liver and intestines inside. 然雖如是、且道、向甚處見洞山。
But tell me, how do you see Tõzan?
"Three pounds of flax" came sweeping along;
Close were the words, but closer was the meaning.
Those who argue about right and wrong
Are those enslaved by right and wrong.